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Running, jumping, flying; the science and art of animal locomotion

Running, jumping, flying; the science and art of animal locomotion
From top left: Professor Alan Wilson, Dr Jim Usherwood, Professor Renate Weller, Dr Richard Bomphrey. Image: Structure & Motion Lab, RVC

The team

From the Royal Veterinary College:

  • Professor Alan Wilson
  • Professor Renate Weller
  • Dr Viv Allen
  • Dr Chris Richards
  • Dr Jim Usherwood
  • Dr Richard Bomphrey
  • Mr Alan Waring
  • Mr Geoffrey Harrison
  • Dr Julia Molnar
  • Ms Anna Wilson
  • Ms Grace Kimble
  • Dr Monica Daley

The science behind the exhibit

Researchers in the Structure & Motion Lab at the Royal Veterinary College investigate the biomechanics of animal locomotion using innovative technology and pioneering techniques. The research ranges from investigating how elite animal athletes (human, cheetah, racehorse, greyhound, falcon) achieve their remarkable performance to hunting and ranging behaviour tracked using enhanced GPS (as featured on Horizon ‘Secret Life of the Cat’); from limb evolution in dinosaurs and frogs to flocking flight in birds. The research has wide-ranging impact, from animal-inspired robots to wildlife conservation and new insights into human ageing.

About the exhibit

  • Hop, skip and jump on a pressure pad and see how your feet respond to movements
  • Meet the makers of animal tracking and activity monitoring technology and collars used for studying wild cheetah and lions (as seen on the BBC’s The Secret Life of Cats)
  • Meet RVC’s artist-in-residence Geoffrey Harrison
  • See beautiful, detailed scientific illustrations by artist/scientist Dr Julia Molnar
  • High speed motion analysis footage of cheetah sprinting and manoeuvring
  • Interactive science of movement activities



These images are protected by copyright law and may be used with acknowledgement.

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